According to physicscat, Easter Island is the most famous and mysterious among the numerous Chilean islands. Geographically and culturally, it does not belong to America, but to Polynesia. The island lies in the Pacific Ocean, 3,703 kilometers west of the Chilean coast. This is one of the most remote and mysterious islands on the planet, it has a rich history full of secrets and mysteries.
The main treasure of Easter Island are completely unique stone moai statues. In former times, the islanders were convinced that they protected their land and themselves from evil spirits. It is known that sculptures were carved from volcanic lava at one of the ends of the island, and then the finished figures were transferred along three main roads to the places of ceremonial plinths, called ahu, which are scattered along the coastline. The island is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The mystery of Easter and its unique cultural value attract many tourists to such a remote island, who come here year after year from all over the world.
This name was given to the island because it was discovered on Easter Day in 1722 by Dutch sailors. The mild climate and volcanic origin should have made it a piece of paradise, far from the problems that plague the rest of the world, but the first impression of the Dutch navigator from the sight of the island was that of a devastated area covered with dried grass and scorched vegetation. There were no trees or bushes to be seen. At the time of discovery, about 2-3 thousand local residents of various races lived on the island – white, swarthy, brown and even reddish people. Their language was Polynesian. Archaeological studies have shown that a hundred years before its discovery, 10-15 thousand people lived on the island. Due to overpopulation, deforestation and exploitation of the limited resources of an extremely isolated island, the civilization of the settlers experienced a sudden crisis for it, the consequences of which were the degradation of the cultural traditions of the natives and a sharp decrease in the population. Now about 3 thousand people live here. Of these, only 150 people are purebred Rapanui, the rest are Chileans and mestizos. The islanders know how to have fun, they sing willingly and well, they love bright colors and, most importantly, they love their island touchingly and tenderly.
The nature of the island is extremely scarce. It is covered with sparse grass and a few trees. There are no rivers or streams here; rainwater accumulates in three small lakes formed in the craters of volcanoes. Traces of relatively recent eruptions are visible on the surface of the island. In the grass there are round, the size of a human head or even more, stones – these are volcanic bombs. Black fragments of volcanic tufa dot the surface.
The most famous sights are about 600 stone statues – Maoi, scattered throughout the island. Some of them depict people with European features, others – strange men with long ears, another – a man with a goatee. Some moai have “caps” made of red stone. The weight of idols is from 10 to 80 tons. All standing moai are turned to face the island. How they were delivered to the coast is unknown. According to legend, they “walked” themselves.
Many unfinished idols are in the quarries – it seems that the carvers stopped work in one second and could not return to it. Some of the idols are frozen in the depths of the crater of the Rano Raraku volcano, some go beyond the crest of the volcano and seem to be heading towards the ocean. Everything seemed to stop at one moment,
Sculptures were installed on ceremonial pedestals – ahu. The length of the largest Ahu Tongariki was 160 m. It was destroyed by the tsunami in 1960, then restored again, and now all 15 statues stand together in a row on the central ahu platform about 45 m long. Another large pedestal of Ahu Akivi is a group of 7 of the most famous statues of Easter, symbolizing the first 7 sailors who managed to get to this piece of land.
One of the most interesting sights of Easter Island is the Rano Kau volcano with a beautiful, reed-covered lake in the crater. At the foot of the volcano is the town of Orongo. His houses, built in antiquity of soft stone, have been restored. And the rock that surrounds the city remained untouched. On it are carved images of bird people.
There are two ways to get to Easter Island: either on a tourist or private yacht (sometimes cruise ships come here), or by plane from Santiago (flight time is 4 hours and 30 minutes).
The island is located in warm subtropical latitudes, so eternal summer reigns here. Although the heat is rare. This is due to the proximity of the cold Humboldt Current and the absence of any land between the island and Antarctica. The average annual temperature is +21°C. In July and August, the minimum temperature reaches +18°C. The warmest month is February with a temperature of +24…26°C. The dry period lasts from November to April.
The island can be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time to travel is between November and April.
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